A conversation with Marco Hünicke, restaurant manager at the RichardZ and Schwabenstube

In August 1990, after graduating from high school, Marco Hünicke was one of the first trainees from the new German federal states at the Hotel Adler Asperg. In 1993, he was promoted to Chef de Rang and shortly afterwards appointed Deputy Restaurant Manager. Since 2004, he has been restaurant manager for the RichardZ and the Schwabenstube, which has held a Michelin star since November 2006. 

As restaurant manager of the RichardZ and the Schwabenstube, what duties do you perform? How many people work under your management?

My daily tasks include looking after the guests and serving food and drinks. In addition, I coordinate reservations, distribute guests and check the menu in consultation with the kitchen, as well as determine the matching wines for the Adler menu. 

I regularly take part in wine tastings in order to manage wine purchases in cooperation with the management and my colleagues. At lunchtime, I work in the RichardZ with a trainee colleague or a third-year apprentice. I look after the Schwabenstube together with my colleague Saskia Gruber. Additionally, depending on the reservations, there are one or two apprentices for the buffet and regular activities. 

How different are the expectations of the customers of the two restaurants? 

Of course, the expectations of a Michelin-starred restaurant are somehow higher. At lunchtime, guests are interested in a quick and tasty meal, whereas in the evening, the culinary experience is in the foreground. Accordingly, the workload for both the kitchen and the service is greater, e.g. setting the table, wine advice, etc. Our aspiration is to fullfill all guests expectations and to satisfy them. 

What do you like most about your job? What is your favourite dish on the Schwabenstube menu?

I like being a host. It is just as important to me to cherish my many regular guests - whom I have been with for years - as it is to inspire new guests for the Adler and to get them to come back.  Since I like a lot of different meals, I don't have a particular favourite dish. Personally, I would probably go for a pure fish menu. But I also like venison or saddle of venison.

What makes the Schwabenstube special?  

The special thing about the Schwabenstube is that you can simply let yourself be pampered here in a cosy and, above all, informal atmosphere.